“The intervention of the government is certainly useful because the proposed increases would have been a drain on families and businesses.” Massimiliano Dona, president of the National Consumers Union is sure of this. ilGiornale.it, warns: “This palliative, however, alone is not enough”.
Why do you call it a palliative?
“Because it is not certain that it will be sufficient to cover all the increase and above all because, from our point of view, it should become structural and, instead, it risks being one-off”.
Which are the items that structurally weigh more in the bill and which could be eliminated?
“We have been carrying out proposals for several years, but alas we are unheard. As regards the electricity bill, we propose the reduction and almost total shift of general system charges from bills to general taxation. In some periods, these charges have come to weigh 25% of the bill and, in our opinion, 95% of these charges could be shifted to general taxation. As for gas, the charges weigh only 5%, but these too should be shifted. In this, however, what weighs the most are above all the excise duties, equal to 15-18% of the bill and, in our opinion, should be eliminated. Then, there is VAT which, while for electricity, VAT is reduced at 5% for domestic consumers, it is reduced at 10% only for the first 480 cubic meters of gas. For the rest, however, the VAT is 22% “.
What is the cause of this increase in bills?
“This’ expensive bill is due to two phenomena. First of all, the market. In the last year and a half the price of gas has risen a lot and, given that as Italy we still produce a good portion of our electricity through gas plants, it is clear that, as the cost of gas increases, the cost of gas also increases. ‘electricity. These are market reasons that depend on geopolitical issues: Russia that reduced exports, a very long winter that made us reduce stocks, China and India that started again earlier and, therefore, have grabbed large volumes. of gas, unlike Europe. Another 20% of the increase is determined by the increase in the cost of Co2 auctions, that is the European ETS mechanism for controlling CO2 emissions, which means that the polluter must compensate for this CO2 emission by purchasing credits on the Ets market. This Ets system (introduced by Europe to make those who introduce more CO2 into the atmosphere than they should pay for the benefit of those who introduce less), unfortunately, has now become a financial market. The sum of these two factors has determined this sharp increase in the cost of electricity and gas ”.
With the PNRR, an increase in the use of renewables is expected. Can this lower the cost of bills?
“Yes, because this expensive bill was due to the increase in gas. If we, absurdly, had 100% consumption of electricity produced from renewable sources, we would have been affected only minimally by these increases. The bulk of these increases still depend on the fact that we still consume a lot of gas to produce electricity and to heat taxes ”.
In percentage terms, what figures are we talking about?
“Today 40% of electricity depends on gas, even if there is a 35-40% share that depends on renewables. With regard to domestic consumption, then, the use of gas in households is still very widespread. The transition to electricity in homes is still happening very slowly ”.
What can consumers do to save?
“Consumers can do a lot. First they can become aware. Only those who know how much they consume, how much the kilowatt hour and cubic meter of gas is paying, can take action to become more efficient and reduce costs. The second step is to compare the most advantageous offers for your own consumption. Once this is done, behaviors can be changed: use LED bulbs, do not use the air conditioners too much in the summer and use the heating with lower temperatures in the winter. All small interventions that save us something. Finally, try to reduce consumption upstream, redeveloping our homes by taking advantage of the incentives that the State makes available for the purchase of household appliances, the renovation of the thermal coat and the boiler ”.